Page 2 - Heart of Hoag June 2014
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Celebrating Health Head to Toe at the Community Wellness Fair in Santa Ana.
students & families
Lesson Learned: El Sol Academy
has a Huge Heart for its Students –
and the Entire Community
Most schools focus on enriching the mind. El Sol Academy in Santa Ana addresses the whole body – and the whole community, too.
In a unique collaboration with area health care providers, El Sol in 2010 opened its campus doors to offer a wide range of free health care services, health education, and social services to the students and families of the
El Sol community.
The program is so successful that the school is expanding out of the mobile and modular units it currently uses and is beginning construction on a
4,000-square-foot onsite clinic that will serve students, their families and the surrounding community.
With the initial funding support from Hoag, and a synergistic collaboration between Hoag, Share Ourselves (SOS) in Costa Mesa, and the UCI School of Nursing, the health care clinic has given uninsured, low-income students, parents and family members access to quality health care that they could not otherwise receive. Additionally, the students receive dental care from the Healthy Smiles Mobile Unit.
This might sound like an ambitious issue for a school to tackle, but the health and wellness of a child’s whole family contributes to his or her education, and El Sol has always taken a holistic approach to learning, says El Sol Executive Director Monique Daviss.
“The clinic matches our goal of larger community revitalization,” Daviss says.“Hoag’s involvement is seen as transformational for our entire community.”
For some parents, the clinic has meant the difference between being able to support their families and not, says Julie Palacios, the mother of first- and third-grade students at El Sol and a frequent school volunteer.
She has seen the school come together to help financially support families who have fallen on particularly difficult times, due to deaths or illnesses. And she has seen the difference the clinic has made for many school families.
“You can see the impact on the kids,” says Palacios, who has her health care needs met at the clinic. “They feel secure. They feel they are not alone.”
She is particularly impressed with SOS physician and Medical Director, Dr. Jose Mayorga, who supervises the program.
“What I really love is the fact that the doctor sat next to me with my test results and discussed everything with me. That was impressive. He took the time and explained everything,” Palacios says.
“It’s unusual for a school to have a health clinic that helps not only the students but the community around it. I feel like we are blessed because we have it.”

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